LDVB back in mix with 4th-consecutive district win
By TJ MAXWELL
KILLEEN – It wasn’t the best version of the Copperas Cove Lady Dawgs’ volleyball team in their 3-1 win over the Shoemaker Lady Wolves on the road Tuesday night in Killeen, but it was enough to earn the win and move to 7-2 in the District 12-6A standings behind Waco Midway (8-0) and Belton (8-1).
Uncharacteristic mistakes by the Lady Dawgs had them in an 0-1 hole after a 25-27 Shoemaker win in the first set and in trouble trailing 8-10 in set two before the Lady Dawgs found their groove with a 13-4 run to take control of the second set on their way to a 25-18 win to knot the match at one set apiece.
The Lady Dawgs then fought off another Shoemaker rally to edge the Lady Wolves 26-24 in set three for a 2-1 Cove lead.
Another Shoemaker rally in the fourth and deciding set made it close at 23-19 but a dump by senior Janice Fa’aola and a kill by senior Jaela Rice closed out the set 25-19 and match 3-1.
A pair of kills each by Fa’aola and senior Leah Powell helped the Lady Dawgs open an 8-4 lead in the first set.
Shoemaker’s Tyra Williams had a pair of kills and an ace while Emi’Jah Spencer added two more kills to help the Lady Wolves stay close at 11-9.
Kills by Fa’aola and Rice and a pair of aces by Fa’aola pushed Cove’s lead to six, 16-10.
Kills by Powell and sophomore Kyra Gaston, along with a block by senior Sam Ingram pushed Cove’s lead to seven, 18-11, before an 11-3 run by the Lady Wolves knotted the set at 21-all. Kills by Spencer, a block by Veronica Miles and five Cove errors led the way in the run.
A kill by Fa’aola gave Cove back the lead at 22-21 before a defensive swat by Shoemaker’s Shamia Grandison flipped the lead back to the Lady Wolves, 22-23.
A pair of kills by Fa’aola knotted the game at 24-all and 25-all, but a pair of kills by Williams and a hitting error by Cove closed the set 25-27.
Kills by Fa’aola, Rice and Ingram helped Cove take a 6-1 lead in set two before a kill by Spencer, a block by Myles and three-consecutive serve-receive errors by Cove helped the Lady Wolves flip the lead to 8-10 with an 8-2 run.
A block by Gaston coupled with four kills by Powell and another by Fa’aola flipped the lead back to the Lady Dawgs at 16-12.
Two more Cove miscues allowed Shoemaker to close the gap to 16-14 before a block by Gaston and kills by Powell lead a 9-4 run to close the set at 25-18.
Another Lady Wolves rally in the third set took the Lady Wolves from five down at 11-3 to one up at 14-15.
Kills by Fa’aola, Powell and junior Larissa Melendez led Cove to the 11-3 lead while an ace by Williams, along with blocks by Spencer and Myles and a kill by Spencer led the Lady Wolves’ run.
A block by Williams and a kill by Spencer gave the Lady Wolves a 20-22 lead before blocks by Fa’aola and Rice, along with a kill by Powell helped the Lady Dawgs edge the Lady Wolves 26-24 for a 2-1 match lead.
Neither team could take advantage in the fourth set with four ties in the early goings.
A block by Rice after a long rally, followed by kills from Fa’aola and Rice helped Cove break and 8-8 tie as part of an 8-0 run. A block by Rice and Ingram made it 16-8.
Another combo block by Rice and Ingram helped Cove push their lead to eight, 18-10.
Two hitting errors and a serving error on Cove allowed the Lady Wolves to close the gap to five, 20-15 but kills by Powell and Fa’aola and dumps by Rice and Fa’aola gave Cove match point before a Rice kill put the match away.
Fa’aola and Powell led the offensive attack for the Lady Dawgs with 16 kills each. Rice added seven and Ingram had five. Fa’aola also had four aces to lead the Lady Dawgs.
Junior Emily Vanderpoel set up the offense with a game-high 34 assists while Ingram added 14 more.